Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. A bone density test, also called Bone Densitometry or DEXA scan, determines whether you have Osteoporosis or are at risk for Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease” meaning that the disease progresses without symptoms until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis affects men less often than women, however, it is still important for men to get checked for bone mineral loss.
In the past, Osteoporosis could only be detected after you broke a bone. By that time, however, your bones could be quite weak. A Bone Density Test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones before it happens. Our Providers will suggest this test, oftentimes while you are here for your annual physical. A DEXA scan does use radiation but at an extremely low dose, so low that our technologists are in the same room with you during the procedure. During the test we will focus on your hip and lower back and possibly your forearm if we cannot measure your hip or spine due to prosthesis. Although Osteoporosis affects the whole body, measurements at the sites we test can be predictive of fractures throughout your body. Scanning takes between 10-20 minutes and results are available the same day as testing and our Providers will go over those results with you to determine an appropriate course of treatment if needed.